Not all travel is trouble-free
- Written by Patsy Oliver
I recently took a short trip to visit my sister and her family in Colorado Springs. I love to go around my birthday time each year if I can ... so pretty there. My daughter wanted to go with me this time. We had never gone together and it sounded like a lot of fun. We checked flights, work schedules, school schedules, etc. Alas, she could not get off work at the right time. We had found a great fare, and she told me to just book it, she would go another time. Reluctantly, I did. The next day she called me from work, her voice filled with excitement. Several co-workers had heard of her dilemma and offered to take her shifts. “Book mine right away and see if we can get on the same flight,” she said. So, I did. We managed to get the same great price for the same flights. We could not choose seating, but just hoped some nice traveler would let us swap seats and sit together. The day came and we were off ... packing and tying up loose ends at the very last minute. Chief, from the Eastex Volunteer Fire Department where my daughter volunteers, offered to drop us off and pick us up from the airport. This was going way too smoothly. Then, the unthinkable happened. We arrived at the airport just one hour before the flight ... our fault, not Chief’s. We are chronically tardy when it comes to some things. We got our boarding passes in about a minute, sailed through security, and guess where we were sitting? Right next to each other! This trip was off to the best start imaginable. We arrived on time in Denver, and waited a few minutes for my sister and niece to pick us up from the airport. They had to drive from Colorado Springs. The trip was absolutely awesome. Not that we did anything so special, just that ‘girl bonding’ that we all enjoy so much. We talked, watched my nieces’ soccer games, shopped, ate way too much, laughed a lot and did some sight seeing. At the Trading Post gift shop at Garden of the Gods the morning we left, we grabbed some last-minute gifts to bring back. My daughter wanted to get a little something for each of the co-workers who had helped her out. With a little searching, she found something for everyone. We left the gift shop, took a little climb on some big rocks at the Garden, and then were off to the airport on our way back home. “Stop and take in this view before we go,” I said to my daughter. “Tomorrow, when you’re at school and I’m at work, at this very time, we will want to remember how beautiful this is.” We had a nice moment after climbing the rock together. My sister took some photos from below, where she had to stay with my 2-year-old nephew. We got back in the car and drove out. On the way, we saw a group of school children enjoying their lunches on some picnic tables. Beautiful orange rock on one side, and Pike’s Peak in all its glory on another. “Look,” I said to my daughter, “what a great place for a field trip.” “That’s awesome,” she said. “The last field trip I had, we had to look for flippin’ nutria rats at Deussen Park.” We had a good laugh, again. Not much else you could say to that. We were off to the airport, hoping for another smooth flight. Little did we know. We had a bit more time this go around. Getting our boarding passes went well enough. Security was another story. I apparently had some metal in a buckle attached to my blouse. A very small buckle with less metal than in a watch. But just enough to keep me sounding the beeper when I tried to get through. As removing my blouse was not an option, I was soon standing (picture spread eagle, but on your feet), getting wanded and patted down profusely, in front of everyone in the security line. I looked over to see that my daughter was causing trouble of her own. One of the gifts she got was a tiny, wooden pocket knife. I should have known that it would be a problem, but I didn’t even think about it when she bought it. It was so small, one could do much more harm with a shoe heel or a fountain pen, if they had ill intentions. But, it was a knife, and it was absolutely not allowed. As my frisking concluded, she was off with a Homeland Security guard to mail the knife home. I could see that she was fuming, and was really hoping that her quick tongue didn’t get her into more trouble. It reminded me of a comedian we had recently seen. He had his tweezers confiscated by airport security. “What do they think I’m gonna do?” he said. “Wait till we get up about 30,000 feet and say, ‘OK, you know what this is ... I’m gonna start pluckin’ people up.” Oh, please, please let her restrain that tongue and not say anything like that. She finally got back, thank God, paying more to ship the knife to herself than the thing cost. She was plenty mad, but hadn’t made things worse with a sarcastic assault on the officer. We sorted ourselves out, checked to be sure we still had our boarding passes, and headed for the gate. We arrived at the gate just in time for boarding. And we were not seated together. Oh well, I guess things can’t always go smoothly. We did manage to swap seats and sit together after all the passengers were on board. Chief picked us up from the airport and we were soon home. My Cute Little German Mother was there waiting for us. She didn’t want to take the trip with us because her knees and other health problems had been troubling her a lot lately. My nephew stayed with her to see that she had help if she needed it. “How vas your trip?” she asked as we came through the door. “Oh, it was great,” said my daughter. “But I almost got arrested for trying to stab someone with a one-inch pocket knife, in my suitcase.” “Oh, Header (Heather) ... you didn’t do dat,” she gasped.